Although both a compiler and an interpreter perform similar tasks, there is a big difference between the two. A compiler takes a high-level language program and turns it into assembly code, while an interpreter takes assembly code and translates it into a machine-readable format. Compilers are usually much faster than interpreters, but they can’t run on as many platforms. Interpreters are slower, but they can be used on any platform that has an interpreter for the target language.
What is a Compiler?
A compiler is a program that translates code from one language to another. For example, a C++ compiler would translate C++ code into machine code that can be run on a specific type of processor. Compilers are used to create executable programs, libraries, and software components that can be run on a variety of devices. Some compilers produce code that is optimized for specific hardware architectures, which can result in better performance. Compilers can also be used to improve the security of software by preventing malicious code from being executed.
What is an Interpreter?
Interpreter software programs are designed to the conversion of code written in one programming language into another language. Interpreters are usually used to convert high-level language code into machine code so it can run on a computer. Interpreter software programs can also be used to change the meaning of code as it is executed or to translate code written in one human language into another. Some interpreters can also be used to debug code or monitor its execution for purposes of dynamic analysis. In general, an interpreter is a type of translator that deals with symbols in stead of words.
Difference between Compiler and Interpreter
Compilers and interpreters are both software programs that translate high-level programming languages into machine code, which can be read and executed by computers.
- The major difference between the two is that compilers produce machine code that is saved as a separate file, while interpreters execute instructions directly from the source code.
- Compiled programs are typically faster and more efficient than interpreted programs, but they can only be run on the type of computer for which they were designed.
- In contrast, interpreted programs are portable, meaning they can be run on any type of computer with the appropriate software installed. As a result, interpreters are often used for rapid prototyping and testing, while compilers are used for production quality software.
Compilers and interpreters are both important tools for software development, but they have different purposes. A compiler takes a high-level language program and turns it into assembly code or machine code that can be run on a computer. An interpreter reads a program one line at a time and executes the instructions as they are read.